Fallon Promises ‘Death to Auto-Tune,’ Calls Conan’s TBS Move ‘Interesting’

by | May 7, 2010 at 12:23 PM | Interviews, Late Night, TV News

Fallen Fallon at the 61st Annual Primetime Emmys (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Fallen Fallon at the 61st Annual Primetime Emmys (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Things are going great for Jimmy Fallon.

He just landed the hosting gig for the Emmy Awards in September, he beat Betty White in beer pong on his show Thursday night, and next week marks a huge moment in the history of ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon‘ as a string of musical tributes to the Rolling Stones will lead up to the airing of a new 44-minute documentary, “Stones in Exile” on Friday night.

Throughout the week, musical acts including Green Day, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow and Phish will perform Stones songs from the album “Exile on Main St.,” which is being re-released this month.

Jimmy’s connection to Stones frontman Mick Jagger goes back to his ‘Saturday Night Live‘ days when Jimmy impersonated Mick in a sketch with Mick, who was looking at himself in a mirror and seeing Jimmy as his reflection.

The weeklong event came out of a meeting in which Mick and Jimmy were at a charity event and talked about the album’s re-release and the documentary. Mick suggested Jimmy air it on the show and the rest is history.

I talked with Jimmy about the Stones tribute, which he said will include some sketches with Mick, as well as his beer pong triumph over Betty White, and his perspective on the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien debacle that played out over the past few months.

I want to congratulate you on beating Betty White in beer pong.
Dude, I’m not afraid of beating Betty White. I’m not scared of that. America wants me to lose on purpose. I say, ‘No, let Betty White learn from her mistakes.’ She shouldn’t play me in beer pong. It’s ridiculous. She almost beat me, by the way.

Yeah, I saw that. That last shot almost went in.
Oh, it was awful. I was so nervous, thinking, ‘Oh my God, Betty White’s gonna beat me in beer pong.’ It’s insane. She bounced one in! I was so nervous. Yeah, Betty White knows how to do it, man. I’m so excited for ‘Saturday Night Live’ this weekend.

Watch the beer pong rematch:

So, this Stones thing really goes right in line with all the great music stuff you’ve been doing since the show started.
Thanks, I think it’s a perfect fit for the Rolling Stones and for the fact that we’re just going to air a rock ‘n’ roll documentary, because we’re late night and we’re on super late, it’s Friday night, 12:30 in the morning. This is what people want. Our fans are, like, ‘Yeah, that’s what we are. We are late night.’ You know, my fans are, you know, prison inmates and mental patients. So they’re all excited to see a movie. They haven’t been out in a long time. So it’s a treat for all the guys in prison.

I’ve got to ask about the Emmys. Any big plans? Are you maybe going to auto-tune the whole ceremony?
[Laughs] No, death of auto-tune. I’m done with auto-tuning, man. After my nightmare, when I slipped and fell, unfortunately, at the Emmys last year. I won’t forget that. I’m still in therapy. I won’t do auto-tune anymore. But, yeah, I’m hosting the Emmys. I’m so honored. I love television. I love show business. So I just want to make it a classy, fun event where people just have fun, and don’t worry about what you’re wearing, don’t worry about who you’re wearing. Just go and have fun and celebrate each other. It’s really silly when you think about it. We’re lucky to have these jobs, so it’s, like, the fact that there’s an award show where people give you an award to do your job. Really?

So you were one of the first TV guys to get on Twitter, but now all your late-night cohorts are getting on it in the last few weeks. Why are they such late adapters? What’s their deal?
They’re all copying me. They were just jealous. They want to be me. It’s like, ‘OK, Jay you can copy me. Conan, you can copy me. Letterman.’ I blazed the trail so that they can go further in their careers.

No, it’s just a fad. Twitter’s the new hot thing, so everyone is doing it. I had nothing to do with it. I’m a follower just as much as they are. It’s a cool thing. It’s just a way to talk to your fans and say, ‘Hey, what’s up? I’m hungover this morning. I feel fat.’ It’s just a way to be honest with your fans and they go, ‘Oh, cool. Me, too.’ They can talk to you. Especially with our line of work, being a talk-show host, I’m in people’s homes every night. It’s another way of saying, ‘Hey!’

I can’t have you on the line without asking, from where you were sitting, what was it like watching the Conan-Leno thing play out?
I mean, I’m happy for Conan. He’s a smart guy, funny guy. If it wasn’t for Conan O’Brien I wouldn’t have a job. I wouldn’t be here, so I love him. And the whole thing with him was shaky, crazy, and, ‘how are we going to do this?’ But it’s fine. Everyone ended up fine. I mean, $30 million. I don’t think you’d be crying over that. He’s at TBS now, which should be interesting. He’s trying a new thing, which is what he’s all about. He’s great. He’s cool.